Disclaimer: I don’t own the G-boys. I also don’t own ‘Green Eyes’ by Coldplay (which is ever-so slightly altered), nor do I own ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ by Ronan Keating, or ‘No Hero’ by The Offspring, and I don’t own ‘Wake Up’ by Rage Against The Machine (brilliant song…). Hell, if I did I would be rich off royalties.

Pairings: 1x2, 3x4
Rating: NC-17 altogether, but more PG this chapter.
Warnings: yaoi, angsty and sappy, AU (c. AC2003), language…

Notes: Things should get a little better in this stage.

Life Line
Part 2
by Jade Black

Heero found Duo hanging around backstage with Wufei- signing autographs, having photos taken, and chatting with the crowd of girls who virtually had their tongues hanging out for a chance to meet anyone from Life Line. A swarm of excited (and possibly obsessed) fan girls swooped in on him as well, like vultures to a carcass the second he walked out of the door, casually running a hand through his unruly bangs. He really wasn’t in the mood for them, though- and they soon silenced with the addition of a trademark death glare… and, then, they somehow managed to follow him as he crossed the room to the couch, and Duo.

Heero was pissed off. He knew no better way of putting it- he had tried to calm himself down before he left the room, but his rage was still lingering. He couldn’t believe Duo just walked out like that… especially when his hard-on had just returned in full force- it just wasn’t done to leave that early. You have to leave at least a five-minute post-orgasm snuggling margin. It’s like a safety net, or something, so if one of you was ready to go again then you had the chance. It was like an unspoken rule. Not only that- but all the braided boy could say in return was “Thanks”?! It was like he thought of Heero as nothing more than a plaything what he could pick up and toss about (or off) when he wanted!

But somehow, Heero just couldn’t stay mad at Duo. He exuded truth and confidence- and just had this ability to make everyone around him happy and carefree. Even Wufei was affected by that angelic boy’s charm. All Heero had to do was look across the room and see Duo chatting animatedly like some great intellectual and he felt his heart melt and his emotions, and hormones soar. He was like a brilliant entrepreneur- he could talk about anything with anyone, bullshit or not. And when he smiled, that amazing goofy, sexy smile- the entire room lit up and everyone smiled with him!

But then, as Heero got closer, and sat next to him on the sofa, he could watch him closer and see the little twinges of hesitation. The logic in Heero’s brain finally kicked in and he wondered just how much of Duo was a façade. He had heard his songs, he had seen him when he was just his raw self… and he always seemed to have his eyes closed to the real world. When he sung there was pain in his face and his body language. He couldn’t hide himself from Heero then. Heero knew him too well, and when he watched him he saw the way his eyes avoided others, the virtually unnoticeable flicker of apprehension that passed his face every time he smiled- like it hurt him, or something. But Duo had no idea. He had no idea what Heero was thinking about him. And Heero truly didn’t know how long he could bear being ignored like that by someone he loved so much.

But Duo just carried on regardless- uncomfortably aware of Heero’s heated gaze, glancing back at the Japanese musician every now and then just to satisfy the little tick in the back of his brain telling him he was being watched. He liked the attention… hell, he loved the attention! But sometimes Heero just became a little extreme. Maybe that was why he loved him, though. Wait- no! He didn’t love Heero! God, no… that would just be way too much. He liked Heero. He couldn’t love Heero, he could only remember what had happened to Solo. Loving Heero wouldn’t be… wouldn’t be good for his health.


“Come on!”

“Come on, although ya try to discredit ya still never edit; the needle, I’ll thread it- radically poetic!” Heero watched as Duo babbled mindlessly into the microphone- keeping a steady, remedial beat resonating from the guitar. The crowds sang along- but it wasn’t what Duo said that did it- it was the way he said it. “Standin’ with the fury that they had in sixty six and like E-Double I’m mad- still knee deep in the system’s shit.” Duo knew what he was on about, and all- and the lyrics were poignant- but it was the anger in which the words thrived that really got the crowd going. “Hoover, he was a body remover. I’ll give ya a dose- but it’ll never come close to the rage built up inside of me- fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy.” Duo had always had a thing about the ‘system’- there was always a touch of rebellion in everything he did- but his terrorist spirit had never seemed to infect the band as much as it could have. Okay- they had meaningful conversations on the state of the world over- but it never really meant a lot to anyone except for Duo- it was just another problem each day.

“Movements come and movements go. Leaders speak, movements cease- when their heads are flown. ‘Cause all these punks got bullets in their heads- departments of police, the judges, the feds.” Heero guessed Duo was concerned for the rest of the world, though normally he seemed pretty selfish. And then there was the question that Heero always pondered- the very question of Duo’s past. Duo had feelings on all sorts of issues that had nothing to concern him- and yet he felt so strongly about them. It always left that space there that something, at some point, might have happened to him. After all, he had lived on the streets- maybe that was what he wanted, to get everyone off the streets and make sure no one lived through what he had to. “Networks at work, keepin’ people calm. You know they went after King when he spoke out on Vietnam? He turned the power to the half-nots- and then came the shot.” Why did he care? And how long had he been keeping all these lyrics sitting around? Heero knew he hadn’t written them all in the recent years- he’d been writing since long before Heero had met him- it was just that he hadn’t had the chance to perform and be listened to. And then he wondered just how many of their loyal fans actually listened to the lyrics and took in the meanings- hidden or not –and how many of them really had any idea of how that all felt about the world. Music was supposed to be the universal language- something that everyone understood. But, the problem is that everyone took songs a different way depending on their situation and their age and their state of mind. Heero knew how that felt. A song that meant love to him when he was twelve could well have meant hate to him when he was fourteen. Sometimes he even wondered what he would have thought of Life Line’s music if he were listening to it. He might not have even liked it. “Yeah.”

“Yeah, back in this.” Duo had his eyes closed again. He could feel the world spinning and moving and shaking around him. The sound enveloped him. The drum quickened like his pulse- the bass a rhythm to live by- and the guitar the pattern of swirling thought that came around and around. The lyrics came to him like glowing angels through the ever-moving purple and blue and black. It was like being on drugs- but better -and without the after effects. This was a natural rush that came without the price. The best thing you could get. “Wit’ poetry my mind, I flex- flip like Wilson, vocals never lackin’ that finesse.” Nothing could or would ever match up to this. Duo feared the end- not the end of the gig, that came pleasantly- but the end of it all. In the immortal translation of Kurt Cobain- it’s better to burn out than fade away. Duo knew he wouldn’t be able to handle it if he got to the stage where he was up on stage screaming his heart out- but no one would listen. No one had listened to him before- but knowing what it was like when people did pay attention- he could never go back to how it had been before. He often wondered how he would know when that moment came- and then what he would do if he did. He would grab for the fame- but there was no point in having it if it didn’t have the effect. “What’ve I gotta do? What’ve I gotta do to wake you up? To shake you up? To break the structure up?” He got the feeling he should put all the money he had earned to good use- but that still seemed like a very faded-away thing to do. He still wouldn’t be able to handle it. But he knew it was coming- he hadn’t written a thing, not a tiny little scrap of a lyric, in months. With the material he was left with, they might not even be able to scratch together another album. What was even worse was the fact that he was the only one who knew it. The band depended on him- he was the front man, the one who sorted it all out and created all the new stuff that sold.

He had developed a habit over the years of letting people down- and he hated to have to do it- but… “’Cause blood still flows in the gutter. I’m like takin’ photos- mad boy kicks open the shutter. Set the groove, then stick and move like I was Cassius. Rep the stutter step, then bomb a left upon the fascists.” He could see their faces when he said it. That they were through. They’d be just like everyone else- baffled, then sad, then angry. They’d all turn on him- just like everyone else had. It scared him. He’d lose his three best friends. The people who he had been closest to for so many years now. He’d lose Heero specifically- and he just couldn’t handle that. He needed Heero like he needed oxygen- that was why he couldn’t get too attached to him. He couldn’t sit there and get close to him, and then say ‘It’s all over’ and lose the lot of them- through no fault of his own, and even though he still loved him. “Yeah, several federal men who pulled schemes on the dream and put it to an end. Ya better beware of retribution with mind war- 20/20 vision and murals with metaphors.” Even his will was lessening. He couldn’t keep going like this. Everyone had a sell-by date- but with too much exposure that date came a lot quicker. Duo had already had enough exposure to send him rotten- and he wasn’t even twenty yet. The young-rock-group-revolution style thing- no one had really considered they hadn’t learnt enough to give them sustenance to last for years. Then again, five hit albums already was pretty damn good. “Networks at work, keepin’ people calm. Ya know they murdered X and tried to blame it on Islam. He turned the power to the half-nots, and then came the shot.” But, still, perhaps he should just run and be done with it? But how do you run with the media plastered all over you? Another thing that Heero would probably sort out for him- the guitarist was good at all that kind of stuff. His disappearance would create a scandal, being a ‘rock-star’, and having a rock-star reputation- they would probably think he committed suicide… and even that was something Duo wouldn’t put past himself. He remembered all to well what it had been like- the sleepless nights. The silver blade sitting in the orphanage kitchen, tempting him to just be done with it all. But, somehow, he managed to fight the temptation- just like Father Maxwell had taught him to. He knew there would be trouble if he did do something drastic… and it would probably have affected Maxwell orphanage as a whole. The last thing he wanted to do was put an extra burden on someone’s shoulders… and then, that’s what he was. A burden. “What was the price on his head? What was the price on his head?”

Heero watched as Duo finally opened his eyes, a maniacal gleam in the violet orbs. He saw the raw tension rise in his body- but he sung low and quiet- a foreboding evil present in his movements and vocals. Like a snake about the strike- stealthy and grinning- he muttered, “I think I head a shot…” he curled back, ready to strike. Evil unleashed- a demonic force given a stage. “I think I heard…” The melody that Heero played grew in a crescendo. Ready to pounce. And then the anticlimax as it pounced… “I think I heard a shot!!” and the fall of the lyrics. The rise of the music. Duo leered forward at the crowd, his voice almost silent- barely audible above the roaring waves of other sound. “Black nationalism… He may be a real contender for this position, should he abandon his supposed obedience to white liberal doctrine of non-violence… and embrace Black Nationalism?” The rehearsed and remembered words flowed from Duo like a radio-report. Smooth and sharp and quick as the oblivious crowd absorbed it like children sitting in front of a television. Then Heero’s turn to shine, he leaned forward, unconsciously fingering the Wing’s strings, and searched his brain for the clever quote that Duo needed.

“Through counter-intelligence it should be possible to pinpoint potential trouble-makers…” The words rolled from Heero’s tongue, and Duo glanced around and threw him a killer grin. He smiled back as he spoke, “And neutralise them. Through counter intelligence it should be possible to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralise them. Through counter intelligence it should be possible to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralise them.” Heero’s only lyrics across five albums, and possible the most poignant. “And neutralise them! And neutralise them!!”

“WAKE UP!” Duo leapt halfway across the stage and stung. “WAKE UP! WAKE UP!!!” The noise rose so high, so high… and then crashed to the floor and quit. “How long?” Duo yelled, one fist in the air, “Not long! ‘Cause what you reap is what you sow!!”

He spun and stomped off down to back stage. Heero removed Wing from his shoulder and followed him, finding him sweating and smiling over a bottle of Heineken. Heero followed suit and grabbed a cold one from the fridge, as he heard the intermission music kick in outside. Heero probably could have played each gig straight- but Duo and Wufei kept complaining that there was too much time on stage for them to keep going. Wufei had developed a real rhythm, though- like he always did- and Heero knew that was hard to start up again time after time. He guessed that with all the energy that the two artistes put into their performances, they would need a break- sometimes Wufei had the habit of becoming like the fucking energizer bunny onstage- he just kept going and going and going until someone had the guts to drag him away.

Duo grinned wider as Heero threw the bottle back and took a swig- and he was rewarded with a sexy little smirk that only Heero Yuy and Clint Eastwood could pull off. But Duo caught himself staring into those cobalt orbs, heavy with lust and wonder and something else indescribably great, and realised his thoughts. He looked away, and turned from the Japanese youth, only to see a Chinese one in his place. Christ, he knew he was just falling deeper and deeper in love with Heero, he was so good to him- but he knew he could never stand to break his love’s heart like he would if he told the band there was nothing more- and they were about to become one of those crappy groups that should have been dead years ago but somehow end up hosting shite television on-off shows and opening super stores that wouldn’t fork out for a real celebrity. That would kill him to ruin Heero like that…

Wufei addressed him and lead him into some meaningless conversation- shouting over the sound outside. Duo wasn’t listening, though; one of Heero’s wayward hands had moved down to his waist- slowly crawling it’s way around to finger the waistband of his pants. Heero wrapped his other arm around him, and toyed with his braid as it fell over the front of his shoulder- making sure Duo was watching as he stroked it in a very suggestive manner. Duo closed his eyes, enjoying the warm weight against his back- and then realised what he was doing again, and jumped away, beginning to walk across the room in an attempt to avoid the stoic guitarist.

But Heero still had a hand wrapped tightly around his braid- and as he moved away he was soon snatched back, and whirled around to see eye to eye with his lover. Heero kept a loose hand on his hair- and stared deep into his eyes for a moment. Wufei watched, baffled, and Trowa glanced over from across the room where he had found Quatre. “What’s wrong with you?” Heero whispered, his breath falling soft against Duo’s lips, his words scarring Duo’s ears like razor blades.

Duo could only shiver; suddenly afraid of the man he only wished he could love. “Heero…” he murmured.

Heero tugged once on his braid. Duo could see the unbridled anger in his eyes- ready to kill. Duo could see it all about to happen- but still he could do nothing to stop it. Perhaps he even wanted it to happen.

“Duo. What. Is. Wrong. With. You?” He asked again, drawing out each word as if Duo couldn’t understand it.

“I… I…”

Heero released the braid, and instead fisted Duo’s collar and drew the boy even closer to him- fiercely breathing down his neck. He just couldn’t stand it any more. “If you don’t like me any more then you can just fuckin’ well tell me! Don’t leave me hanging!” Heero’s head wretched backwards and he purposely clicked his jaw to relieve the growing tension. “Do you have any idea what you put me through?! I’m living in hell every day because of you! Just wondering- does he love me? Why does he ignore me? Is he fucking mentally stable?”

Heero threw him away, and held his hands up to his head. “It’s sending me insane!! You act like I’m not there! I don’t even know whether I am there or not anymore.” Heero watched Duo cower, somehow unable to move away- although he was expecting him to run for his life. Heero couldn’t stop himself now- and he knew that everyone in the room’s eyes were on him… and then on Duo. He couldn’t help it, though- he felt like he had just swallowed molten lava.

“H-Heero, I’m sorry…” Duo tried to put his hands up in his own defence- knowing he had fair warning for this, and yet he hadn’t even tried to prepare.

Heero stared down at him. “Sorry for what?! Do you even know what you’ve been doing to me? It’s not because you ignore me- or pretend that I’m just there for sex! I can’t stand it because I feel so much for you! It’s too much! I can’t handle just sitting around here waiting for you to grow up and recognise it- seeing someone I love so much not return it.”

He loves me? Duo thought almost helplessly. That had almost been what he was trying to avoid. Okay, so Duo didn’t want to end up loving Heero because he would have to devastate him- but he had also been trying to make Heero hate him- because that would have made it so much easier.

“WELL?!?” Heero roared at him. Duo, or anyone else in the room, had never heard the Japanese boy say anything quite so loud. “Do you have some kind of defence- or are you just going to take it until I walk out on all this? Would you even know I had gone? Surely you can just go jerk yourself off in the shower and you’ll get the same effect?”

“Heero…” That seemed to be the only word Duo could force past his lips. He just couldn’t believe what was happening.

“Um, guys?” a voice said through the uncomfortable silence. Heero spun around to see Quatre holding up a hand, as if to ask a pardon. “You’ve got to be back onstage in about 30 seconds. No hurry…”

Heero turned back to Duo- and glared like glaring was about to be made illegal. Duo just looked up at him for a moment, and then realised he was waiting for some kind of answer. “Look, Heero… can we talk about this later?” He glanced around at the many pairs of eyes riveted on the pair. “In private?”

Heero just growled.


They went back on stage in usual form. Nothing was different. Duo kept sneaking nervous glances back at Heero- who had his eyes glued to Duo… and Trowa and Wufei remained silent, as they both knew it was only going to take the tiniest mistake to set either off the lead artistes.

Duo stepped up as the music from the CD faded. All you could hear was the crowd- and he tried vainly to pull himself back together. The crowd wasn’t half as big as it had been in Norwich. It was a more select, and more expensive venue- undercover in a club in London. He couldn’t remember what it was called. He could only see the dark walls and the white ceiling- and hope that he hadn’t fucked this entire thing up.

Every instrument stayed at a steady rhythm, and Duo lead them. “Once you said you’d stick to it until the end. I guess you lied.” Duo glanced back at Heero- his voice shaking and nervous, not half as boisterous as usual. “They call is suicide.” He could remember his earlier thoughts vividly- that seemed all the more so the case now. He pursed his lips, paused and tried to close his eyes- but Heero’s careful watch pried them open- forced Duo to see the real world before him for once. “Now you’re gone. What was so wrong that you couldn’t find a way to carry on? Second guess-” he looked back at Heero. “Did I do my best?” Locked eyes with him. “There was a friend I had…”

Duo paused. The timing was everything- and there were supposed to be chords. Heero had frozen. No- not frozen, he had just stopped. Failing miserably, Duo stared at him as he moved and continued to sing. “Johnny was a weirdo, so what did you expect?” Heero pulled Wing from his shoulder with a horrible clang of amp static and un-played notes. “I ain’t no fuckin’ hero!!” Duo glanced down and whispered. “I’m just trying to survive myself.”

Duo’s arm fell, and Trowa stopped playing. Wufei continued- but not for long, as they watched Heero together. He placed Wing down carefully, and looked at Duo as he moved across the stage. The crowd started to complain as everything went silent- most of them too drunk or stoned to realise much more than that. Heero walked down the steps and into the crowd- knocking away any wayward fans that decided to fly in his direction. He made his was through the sea of people, pushing them all absently aside. And Duo didn’t know what he could say.

He looked helplessly back at Trowa, who just shrugged. “Heero!” Duo shouted into the microphone; but the guitarist just continued to walk through the dense crowd, ignoring him. But then Duo had an idea.

“It’s amazing… how you can speak right to my heart.” His voice was like honey, and the room silenced almost completely as he said it, totally unaccompanied. “Without saying a word, you can light up the dark.” He held the microphone in both hands, and his voice echoed almost lovingly. “Try as I may, I could never explain,” the words just flowed from him- brain dead as the inspiration instantly came to him- as though heaven sent to save his love. “What I hear when you don’t say a thing.”

Duo didn’t close his eyes, he just watched as Heero walked away, pushing people away from him. This was all he felt he could do. It was all he could offer Heero that no one else could. Song. “The smile on your face let’s me know that you need me.” Still Heero walked. The crowd seemed appalled- making little sounds of disappointment that could well have been fatal for Life Line. “There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me.” And he stopped. Just for a moment he paused on the spot- being washed over by black-clad and very confused rockers. Duo’s heart soared- finally a hope coming back to him. But, now he was nervous. His brain finally kicked in- and he searched for another lyric to complete the chorus. “The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me, wherever I fall. You say it best…” Heero turned and faced him, blue eyes sparkling and dark. He looked up at the braided performer in disgust. He couldn’t believe what he was trying to do. “…When you say nothing at all.”

Duo locked eyes with his departing lover, and somehow managed to hold Heero’s gaze. Somehow what he was trying to say just floated to him when he needed it- and he knew he was going to succeed somehow. Not only that, he knew he could go on. It was like he was being bombarded with ideas and rhymes that could keep him supplied with songs for years and years. He guessed he had Heero to thank for that… again.

Duo paused a moment, and drew in a deep breath. Just as he prepared to exhale, a slow but perfect drumbeat appeared behind him. He smiled to himself and secretly promised to thank Wufei later. He knew he could trust all the guys- they’d come through for him in a snatch. They’d known him too long not to. “All daylong, I can hear people talking out loud. But when you hold me near…” he gazed deep into Heero’s eyes, like he had never done before. They were so expressive, even if the guitarist’s mouth wasn’t. “You drown out the crowd.” It did seem like there was no one there but them- everything else a blurred jumble of black clothing and pale skin. “Try as they may, they can never define, what’s been said…” Heero broke the gaze, and stared down at the floor as though it would help him- fists clenched at his sides in fury. “Between your heart and mine.”

“The smile on your face lets me know that you need me.” A perfectly tuned bass line added to the melody, calming and slow. “There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me.” Duo outstretched a hand towards his lover. “The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me, wherever I fall.” Heero pursed his lips as if he were dealing with a very small child. “You say it best, when you say nothing at all.”

Duo stopped- and let Trowa and Wufei play on. Heero was staring at him again. He looked almost in pain. This wasn’t working, Duo realised, and glanced around at the pitiful remainder of his band. Trowa was watching him intently, and Wufei glanced up at him whenever he had a chance. He turned back to the microphone, took it out of the stand, and brought it up to his lips. “Heero…” he addressed the boy standing out amidst the masses. “Every singer needs some good accompaniment- if not the singing just isn’t good enough.” Heero blinked. “Come on, man. I need you. Not just up here.” He gestured to the stage. “I love you, Heero.”

The Japanese boy looked up at him, a tear sparkling in the corner of his eye. He was so close to the door he almost had his hand around the huge silver handle. Duo continued to sing. “The smile on your face… the truth in your eyes… the touch of your hand…” he was just trying to persuade him for his own good. “Let’s me know that you need me.”

And Duo watched him walk away.


“Honey, you are a rock. Upon which I stand. And I come here to talk, I hope you understand…”

Heero watched Duo sway in front of him. He sung like an angel, and moved like a demon. He had to glance away from Duo for the briefest of moments to check his fingering on Wing. A soft acoustic melody, simple and forgiving.

“The blue eyes, yeah the spotlight shines on you.”

There was no audience this time, no distractions. Just the two men with their talents, and nothing to stop them.

“And how could. Anybody. Deny you…”

Simple and plain. Heero sat and Duo stood. He’d explained everything. Heero still loved him, he still loved Heero. Duo was black, and Heero was white. Duo was all the colours, and Heero was all the light. They were one in the same- and yet the opposite.

“I came here with a load. And it feels so much lighter, now I’ve met you…”

Duo had explained everything- his entire past spilled out in one long stream. All about the Maxwell orphanage, his ‘friend’ Solo and how he had… topped himself somewhere in the past- the origin of his name. Heero could understand everything. There was no doubt left, and no fear either.

“Honey, you should know, I could never go on. Without you.”

Duo had explained his dilemma, with writing. But Duo could write again now, in full flow. But it didn’t matter any more. Life Line was just a fad. A phase in which they all indulged. It was over now. Everyone knew they wouldn’t last much longer than they already had- and they all agreed they didn’t want to become aging has-beens. So they put a stop to it all. Everyone remained friends, but now there weren’t all the barriers and the tension. No more.

“Blue eyes.”

The music they had together became a nostalgic and comforting gift. They could play when they wanted to and reminisce together. And they all had enough money to last them for years.

“Honey, you are the sea. Upon which I float. And I came here to talk, I think you should know…”

Duo would wake in the morning and hum a tune, new or old, and Heero would sit down and knock out a melody on Wing-, which now took pride of place on the drawing room wall. There was still the music which they both loved- but it all came so much easier, and there was no pressure on either. I was much better that way.

“The blue eyes. You’re the one I wanted to find. And anyone who tried to deny you, must be out of their minds…”

Heero forced Duo to see a psychiatrist, even if he had to sit outside while he was in there. He knew Duo had a lot of issues that he needed to deal with- and he couldn’t think of a better way to sort them. Duo took it amazingly well- he almost actually enjoyed it. Life was all becoming clearer.

“’Cause I came here with a load, and it feels so much lighter, since I met you.”

Duo watched Heero’s reflection in the mirror as Heero watched him move. He never seemed to stop smiling, now. He was more beautiful than ever.

“Honey, you should know. That I could never go on, without you…”

Duo couldn’t believe it had all gone so easily. It had taken a while, but everything was sorted, and a lot simpler than he would have deemed possible.

“Blue eyes… blue eyes…”

There was the singing for Duo, and the playing for Heero, nothing had changed…

“Honey, you are a rock. Upon which I stand.”

…Except everything.


back to fiction

back to jade black fiction

back home